I stood in this space when I found out that your tiny spirit was safely tucked away inside of me.
I stood in this space when I cooked foods to nourish myself and therefore, nourish you.
I stood in this space when I wondered who you were, what you would look like, sound like, smell like.
I stood in this space when I felt my first contractions.
I stood in this space when I paced and swayed realizing that I would be meeting you very soon.
Standing turned to kneeling.
On hands and knees, the old me was dying. I gave birth to you, but I, as your mother, was born too.
I no longer stood in the same space. In fact, I hardly stood for days after your birth at all.
I realized the profound nature of this transformation from maiden to mother and then mother of one to mother of two.
There is nothing quite like the strength of a mother as she gives birth.
Suddenly, though, the womb is empty yet swollen, still holding space for such a life changing event that just occurred.
I was standing here in this photo, but just for a moment. And that’s the thing about postpartum.
Birth gave me the space to find the strong mother within me.
But postpartum gave me the space to find the strength in not standing.
To lie down with my newborn baby and let people bring us meals. To bleed, to leak milk, to cry, to need.
To learn where my skin ended and my baby’s began.
I hope that every woman, if she desires, experiences the strength of standing in the sacred place of pregnancy and birth.
But I also hope that she gets to experience sitting where she once stood because it’s okay to receive without polite protest.
To let people hold your hand as you kneel, and eventually stand back up.
Just as much as your birth space should be protected, so should your postpartum.
I stood in this space at my strongest and most fragile.